Commentary: Michael Durand

By Michael Durand

Happy new year!

Many thanks to the editors, writers, photographers, columnists, interns, delivery team, bookkeeper and others who work together to provide our community with its neighborhood newspaper. So much effort goes into putting each month’s issue together and it would not be possible without a dedicated team. Thank you!

We produce the Sunset Beacon as well as the Richmond Review. I took over the papers in 2019 and I am so thankful the founder and former editor-in-chief and publisher, Paul Kozakiewicz, still helps me each month. His institutional knowledge is prodigious and his input is highly valued.

A quick word about newspaper delivery. We publish 20,000 copies each month. That is not enough to cover the entire district, so we deliver to half the neighborhood one month, the other half the next. We also leave copies at stores, cafes, libraries and in news racks throughout the community. 

In addition to the newspapers, we have also spent a lot of time and effort on our website. In 2018, the site averaged 4,000 views per month. In 2019, the number of views bumped up to more than 10,000. In 2020, the monthly average was nearly 16,000. Last year we consistently averaged more than 21,000 views every month. That’s more than a quarter of a million views in 2021.

After the newspapers are printed, we post the stories, photos, columns, cartoons, etc., on this website. Since we also have virtually unlimited “real estate” online, we also publish things that don’t make it into the papers. There is a lot of information to learn from the various press releases we publish. Plus, we can’t print every single letter we receive in the papers, so the writers will find an audience in the blogosphere.

Many of the items we publish online get comments. If you are one of our commenters, thank you. We appreciate you sharing your point of view.

Every comment needs to be reviewed and approved. Since we don’t have a 24/7 staff, sometimes comments left in the evening will hold until we review them the next morning before they are published.

Only a few comments are rejected. We are all for free speech and we encourage sharing ideas from all perspectives, but we don’t allow cheap shots, low blows, expletives, name calling (“OK, boomer!”) or other destructive comments. Please be respectful of all readers, whether you agree or disagree. There is no need to be rude.

We also have some social media presence. On Facebook, we’re SF Sunset Beacon (and SF Richmond Review). We post on Instagram @RichmondSunsetNews. It is the impressive Hannah Holzer who keeps us active on Twitter (@RichmondSunset). Thank you, Hannah!

I am filled with gratitude for so many people who help us exist. Our team of writers are the backbone of our work. Our main news writer, Thomas K. Pendergast, deserves special mention. Your great work is appreciated. Thank you all very much. 

Special thanks to our advertisers who are keeping local journalism alive. As we say to our readers every issue, “please thank and support our advertisers.”

Above all, thank you, dear readers, for inspiring us in this labor of love every month. Sharing stories about our wonderful community with you is a gift that we cherish.

Thanks to all. Happy 2022!

Michael Durand is the editor and publisher of the Richmond Review and Sunset Beacon newspapers and the website. He can be reached at and P.O. Box 16035, SF, CA 94116.

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